Nanny State

Menu Board of Health


The New York City Council may force the city's Board of Health to revise its requirement that restaurants prominently display calorie counts alongside food listings in menus and on menu boards. The rule, which the board imposed together with its more notorious trans fat ban, applies only to restaurants with standardized dishes for which calorie counts are available, mainly big chains that already offer the information in some form. (Hence it might actually discourage restaurants that don't yet provide nutritional information from doing so.) Restaurant owners complain that satisfying the menu requirement will be costly and impractical in some cases—e.g., Starbucks' 84,000 drink options and Taco Bell's 25 burrito variations. Councilman Joel Rivera (D-Bronx) has introduced a bill that would let restaurants put the nutritional information in brochures or on posters. This is pretty much what they do now (along with publishing the information online), although The New York Times says Rivera's bill would require "that calorie information be more readily available," whatever that means.